New apartments on Victorian row in Ranelagh with one-beds from €495,000

Development of five one-bed apartments and one studio aims to blend old-world character with modern city living

Address: 47-48 Chelmsford Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6
Price: €430,000
Agent: Hooke & MacDonald
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The leafy Dublin 6 district of Ranelagh, with its Victorian terraces, boutiques and cafes, isn’t known for large apartment developments, but number 47-48 Chelmsford Road by Clonvara is a different kettle of fish altogether. It comprises just six units at the end of a row of Victorian houses, including five one-bed units measuring between 46sq m (495sq ft) and 50sq m (538sq ft) from €495,000, and one penthouse studio measuring 36 sq m (378sq ft) for €430,000, selling through Hooke & MacDonald. They’re on the small side, but well fitted-out and would suit a first-time buyer looking for a foothold in the property market, someone looking for a base to live and work in the city, or for someone downsizing – perhaps from a larger home nearby. A lift provides easy access to the upper floors.

The three-storey complex was built on the site where the Gem motorcycle workshop used to be. The Gem moved to Morehampton Road, and the site lay vacant for about 14 years. “It was just a hole in the ground,” says Jamie O’Donoghue of Clonvara. It was his dream to build a bijou apartment block that would blend in with Ranelagh’s old-world character and allow buyers to feel part of this vibrant community without having to break the bank, he says.

Ryan & Lamb Architects designed 47-48 Chelmsford Road to be sympathetic with the streetscape, and its redbrick facade sits nicely with its neighbouring Victorian houses; the top of the first floor is lined up nicely with the terrace, giving it a natural flow from modern to period. The dark-grey zinc cladding to the front is a nice architectural touch and doesn’t look out of place alongside the dark tiled roofs running along the terrace. Even the small garden in the downstairs front apartment evokes the classic front gardens on the street.

There are two apartments on each floor, one to the front and one to the rear, and though they share similar fittings and fixtures, they all have their own individual shape and character. The downstairs front apartment benefits from its own small front garden; you can imagine sitting here sipping your coffee and watching the busy world go by in this bustling neighbourhood. The downstairs rear apartment has a large walled terrace looking out to a laneway at the back, adding a generous outdoor space for entertaining or relaxing, with access from the laneway for bringing in your bike or scooter. There’s no parking at the apartments, so you really would want to fully embrace city living by utilising public transport or investing in a bike.


On the first floor, the one-bed to the front has a sun balcony looking out over Chelmsford Road. The penthouse one-bed on the second floor also has sun balcony, and when you look down Chelmsford Road, you can see the line of Victorian chimneys sweeping away into the distance. Look the other direction, and you can watch all the activity as people enjoy the restaurants and cafes on Ranelagh Road.

The penthouse studio is to the back and is, admittedly, compact, but is fitted out to maximise the space. There is a generous outside terrace area, and with the glass doors open on a sunny day, it will feel roomier. There’s also scope, says O’Donohoe, to install a pull-down bed in the bedroom area, and you could put shelving around it to give more storage space. As it is, the bedroom area is set up to comfortably take a queen-size bed.

The interiors in 47-48 Chelmsford Road are high-spec, with kitchens designed by Nolan Kitchens, using quartz worktops and going for peninsulas rather than islands to utilise the space more efficiently. The Sonas bathrooms are tiled in a nice grey stone effect, and the bedroom wardrobes are by Cawley Furniture. Stainless-steel ironmongery runs throughout, and Joule heat pumps are installed.

The Luas stop at Ranelagh is a three-minute walk away, and bus routes run along Chelmsford Road and Ranelagh Road. Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club and Ranelagh Park are nearby, and it’s just a short walk to St Stephen’s Green and the city centre.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist